Critics On a Mission (To Better Themselves)
Written by: Alex Sandell

Critics: poised so prominently on their office chair. Each key in their keyboard is viewed as their sword. The monitor is used as their shield. Every word typed out is a monument to perfection which is to be immortalized in glossy magazines and high-end television shows. They weigh their sentences wisely and treasure each one as though it were an only child.

Critics: pompous dweebs with a degree; hiding behind words such as "professional" and "objective". The pretentious prima-donnas thinking the bile they spew is that much holier than "their" public's. They've seen every movie and play, read every novel and heard each CD. They've sat through 4 years of college pondering the existence of life, yet the best they've come up with is, "to review".

Now these critics have discovered a way to take "reviewing" to the next level. While swearing under the oath of "objectivity", they can start sending out subtle messages through their critique. They've finally found a film that they can hide their agenda behind.

That film is "Patch Adams". A true story about a man (played by Robin Williams) who bucks the system and ends up living his dream. A dream which has nothing to do with this capitalistic country and its lousy medical system. It's a dream which says all people are entitled to medical care. A dream that asks the Government to help out the people who can't help themselves. A dream that causes the dreamer to wake up screaming, "what the hell is happening? Why is anyone forced to pay $300.00 a month for medicine? Why do the wealthy elite get all the best care while the bottom 80% are ignored? Why should a mother be forced to fill out papers as her little baby is breathing in his last breath? Why are hospitals more worried about malpractice suits than the well-being and happiness of their patients? Why don't health-insurance companies give a shit about anything other than the 'bottom line'? WHY THE HELL ISN'T ANYONE DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS GREEDY, EVIL, ROTTEN-TO-THE-CORE SYSTEM???"

This dream scares the living piss out of a lot of those wealthy, mainstream critics. You see, they can afford the best in medical care (actually, their employer throws it in for free). They are "celebrities" and the doctors treat them with the greatest of care. They feel they might lose this "ass-kissing" system of support if the "Patch Adams" system of socialized medicine is utilized on a global scale. So they pretend they hate the movie. "Pretend" being the key word.

"Entertainment Weekly" gave it an "F-" (whatever that means). Most critics followed suit (although the majority not quite trivial enough to add a minus to their "F"). Think about this: these "critics" are saying "Patch Adams" is worse than ALL the Jean Claude Van-Damme movies ever released. It's worse than anything by Sylvester Stallone or Steven Seagal. Worse than "Big Bully" and "Captain Ron". Worse than all the "Care Bears" sequels combined. Hmm . . . something smells fishy and I'm not even close to Maine.

The very same critics praised "A Bug's Life" and "Rugrats" while labeling "Patch Adams" "formulaic". And you're saying "A Bug's Life" and those little, snot-nosed "Rugrats" aren't? I must have walked into the wrong theater. Not only that, I guess my popcorn was spiked with Acid and the "Sprite" I was drinking was really "Everclear".

No film has followed a formula more closely than "A Bug's Life" did. This tride-and-true Disney formula could be patented and sold in a bottle. Not many films have been more "formulaic" than a lot of the animated tripe spilled from the studios and onto the screen during the past decade. At least not "Patch Adams". Actually, "Patch Adams" breaks the "formulaic" trend and treads in waters so foreign to these self-centered reviewers that they are afraid to give it a good review. They're afraid to give it more than an "F-", or one "star".

Yet, the public loves it. Audience reaction has been better for this movie than any other in recent history. The theater stood up and cheered at the end both times I saw it. Sadly, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel weren't in attendance, so there was nobody there to spit on.

How I would have liked to spit on one (or both) of them. But first, there's the worst "critic" of all, and her name is Lisa Scwarzbaum. The bitch of a critic who will go down in history as being the only person stupid enough to give a film an "F-". An "F" just wasn't good enough, in her intermediate opinion; she needed that "-" in there, to get the point across. Anyone who's gone farther than 6th grade in America's school system knows you can't get worse than an "F". This only confirms my theory that Lisa Scwarzbaum never graduated from elementary school. A pity. I guess she must have blown her way to the top. Maybe her next great literary feat will be to help Monica Lewinsky write her "tell-all" tale. They could call it "F-".

To make a long story slightly longer, Miss Scwarzbaum proceeds to accuse "Patch Adams" of "idiotically" indicting the "entire medical profession". Let me tell you, Lisa; as an epileptic, and someone who is forced to visit a doctor/doctors at least once a month, I will say that the "indicting" done in "Patch Adams" is not "idiotic", but extremely accurate. Out of the 2 or 300 doctors I've seen, only 2 or 3 have went out of their way to be friendly, or actually talk with me, rather than at me. None of them have been free (or even "fair"). I guess you wouldn't know. Maybe when you catch something from all those dicks you were sucking on as an EW intern, you'll get a clue.

And now onto Roger.

The "fat guy" in the "Siskel and Ebert" team proceeds to put down the looks of the real Patch Adams in his review, not to mention the numerous sarcastic comments he directs toward real-life children with terminal cancer that acted in the movie. It's odd he would do this, being that he has continually criticized movies for putting down somebody's (I.E. - a fat guy's) looks.

It is also unfortunate that "Mr. Showbiz" (a company which had no problem selling itself out to "Walt Disney") accuses Robin Williams of being a "bleeding heart". I would have loved to see that prick in attendance. A little spit sent in the direction of Mr. Showbiz would have been a lot of fun!

Yet, no critics were at any of these screenings. It looks like the reviewers won't "stoop" to the level the audience is at. At least they won't take our "spit". Oh well.

So they write their white horse into magazine stands everywhere, trying to persuade the public into believing "Patch Adams" is a "bad" movie. Trying to convince the audience that the reason they love it so much is because they are not educated in the art of film.

This reminds me of the Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Clinton. Desperately trying to convince an unconvinced public that personal issues should be an impeachable offense. No one buys it. No one cares. But these out-of-date idiots keep preaching from their soapbox, nevertheless.

Let them preach and impeach all they want. Nothing they say can convince us that "Patch Adams" wasn't really the heartbreaking, hilarious and serious film that it was. If I were a member of the Academy, I would select it as the best picture of the year.

1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Don't copy this without my permission, or I'll go "Scwarzbaum" on your ass!

email Alex at alex@juicycerebellum.com

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